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"There's a gross miscarriage of justice going on in Congress right now that just makes absolutely no sense," Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Monday.
He was referring to the now year-old merger attempt of
Sirius Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio
( XMSR) that's been under review by the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission.
Cramer has taken issue with the fact that the Sirius/XM merger has now taken longer than both the merger of
with Maytag. Despite four hearings on the matter, Congress is no closer to a decision on the matter.
Defending the deal, Cramer pointed out that Sirius and XM have pledged to give Congress everything they've asked for, including a la carte pricing options. "Satellite radio has competition," he noted, "from both terrestrial radio as well as from
iPods and other MP3 players."
He warned that if the deal doesn't go through, XM might not survive, and Sirius would be put into considerable peril.
"The blame rests squarely on the members of Congress," Cramer asserted, adding many in Congress accepted campaign contributions from the National Association of Broadcasters, who represent terrestrial radio and oppose the merger. "This raises eyebrows," says Cramer. "Terrestrial radio is holding onto their dying business model and just won't let go," he said.
Cramer extended an open invitation to any member of Congress who can explain why the deal is being held up and why consumers are being denied choice and fair competition. He pledged to continue to press the issue until Congress takes action.
A Big Deal in Developing Countries
"Wireless telecom in the developing world is a big moneymaker," according to Cramer.
His recommendation for playing this explosive growth market is
Millicom International Cellular
( MICC), a Luxembourg-based company that builds, develops and operates cellular networks in Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
"Even without electricity, many people in the developing world have cell phones," Cramer noted.
According to Cramer, MICC has access to potentially 151 million subscribers in Africa, 59 million in South America, 26 million in Central America and another 40 million in Asia.
The company, he notes, does exceptionally well in the countries in which it operates by taking advantage of prepaid calling cards and billing by the second, as opposed to the minute, in order to make service more affordable to lower income individuals.
He noted that in 2006, MICC grew its subscribers by 8.4 million, up 56% from the previous year. In the fourth quarter, sales were up 41% and the company announced a special dividend, making it an "ultra-pro shareholder company."
Cramer said he's still a fan of
, but says opportunities like MICC don't come along often and he doesn't want this one to get away.
XTO on the Go
Cramer welcomed Bob Simpson, chairman and CEO of
( XTO), a stock that he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, to the show to discuss the company's stellar fourth-quarter results.
Cramer's been behind XTO Energy since he first recommended it on March 30, 2007, at $41.68 per share. Since then, he's been pounding the table, urging investors to buy into the company's incredible business model.
XTO beat Wall Street's earnings estimates by 4 cents a share and raised their 2008 guidance. The company also reported a 292% replacement of its natural gas reserves. Saying "natural gas is the way to go," Simpson reminded viewers that natural gas is actually a cleaner fuel than the much touted ethanol.
Simpson also predicted that 2008 will be a year of consolidation for the industry and said that XTO is poised to acquire assets when the opportunity arises. He also remained confident in the company's domestic strategy, saying "there's enough risk and opportunity in the oil business without going overseas."
A Little Patience, Please
Cramer also welcomed Ron Zwanziger, chairman and CEO of
( IMA), another stock he owns for Action Alerts PLUS, to discuss the company's proposed merger with Matria Healthcare.
Zwanziger said he is extremely pleased with the opportunity to acquire Matria and noted the company has had a long history of successful acquisitions.
He believes sellers of Inverness are panicking and don't fully understand the value of the deal. Zwanziger expects the deal to go through as proposed and said the company is working simultaneously to improve its balance sheet in response to investor concerns.
Cramer said Inverness is costing people money and he hates being responsible for that, but he didn't offer any new recommendations for shareholders.
Cramer was bullish on
Hudson City Bancorp
Cramer was bearish on
Switch & Data
New York Community Bancorp
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Unitedhealth Group, Goldman Sachs, XTO Energy and Inverness Medical .
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